Village News (May 30, 2019)
By Gary Dyck
A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
On May 25th we hosted our Russländer Tribute Fundraising Banquet with a full house and a full program. It was my first major banquet that I helped organize and I’m so thankful for the wonderful staff at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) that made it flow!
Mennonite Historian Glen Klassen was onsite and wrote this great description of the grand-opening of our Russländer exhibit and the evening program. The exhibit included a smaller room within it that was made to look the way a 1920’s Mennonite kitchen might have looked as they were fleeing their home in Russia for Canada. Glen Klassen writes:
“I couldn’t find the famous trashed room at first but then realized that it was tucked in behind the hugely enlarged photo of Mennonites just after having crossed into freedom at the Red Gate in Riga. What a powerful image! The violated room expressed horror in a perfectly ordinary setting. Could this really happen to peaceful and self-satisfied people? Apparently, and much worse. I was glad that there was no blood on the floor. Although that would have been perfectly realistic, it would be more than we were prepared for.
The evening program include more singing by the Singers (Muss I’ denn, Am Brunnen vor dem Tore, etc.) a Liar’s Club game, and bacon-wrapped asparagus. With regard to the Liar’s Club game, which I won, I must reassure you that I did not get the answers before-hand. It was largely luck. Doris Penner, Sid Reimer and Ernie Braun did an excellent job of imaginative lying.
Have you ever attended a banquet, complete with pork tenderloin and wine, to fix a roof? This is also unprecedented. Andrea Dyck (Senior Curator) told us how difficult it is to run a museum in the rain. Where will it leak next? Certainly not on top of Klaas Reimer’s bible! Or any of the other thousands of priceless artifacts. We were also reminded that the flat roof(s) of the artefacts building are 30 years old and that the original construction was part of a very extensive fund-raising campaign at the time.”
In other news the 2019 Tractor Trek is June 8th. Watch dozens of heritage tractors leave from MHV and make their way to Randolph and Unger Feeds just south of Mitchell and back! See mhv.ca for details.
Calendar of Events
June 8, Tractor Trek – 8am to 8pm
June 14-16, Summer in the City – Main Street, Steinbach